Worldwide Ski ResortsFranceLa Plagne

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Overview

The resort of La Plagne is a combination of ten distinct villages that have joined together to form this massive ski resort in the Paradiski domain of the French Alps. If you come here, it has got to be for the access to the extensive skiing and not for the beauty of the place because the villages are quite ugly and charmless (with the exceptions of rustic Montchavin and Champagny-en-Vanoise at the base of the slopes). There is a large choice of accommodation to be found, ranging from some very luxurious catered chalets and hotels to basic dormitory blocks. In between, there are a variety of less classy hotels and self catering apartments to suit every budget.

Profile

The resort’s villages stand variously between 1800 and 2100m and provide access to 220km of local pistes that are served by a system of 108 lifts. The direct link to Les Arcs gives access to the entire Paradiski area that contains an impressive total of 420km of piste and 164 lifts. The local slopes have an excellent reputation for snow surety although the lower sunnier slopes can suffer in warmer seasons. There is a good level of snow making here with more planned for future seasons. La Plagne has a lot on offer to all levels of skier and snowboarder.

Experts have a number of testing black runs to try out, but will probably find the most enjoyment by hiring a guide and exploring off piste. Intermediates will find that the entire area almost seems to have been designed for them with red, blue, and green runs snaking away everywhere. Boarders will relish the vast free riding areas and the three, first class terrain parks. Beginners will find that the resort is an excellent place to learn with each village having its own nursery slope and plenty of progression slopes to move on to. Ski schools have a good reputation, although some of the classes can get a bit too large in high season. Child care facilities are good.

Mountain Information

The local slopes can be broken down into seven distinct sectors, all of which are linked. The higher slopes at La Grande Rochette, Roche de Mio, Champagny, Le Biolley and the Bellecot are well above the tree line and are inclined to be rather exposed and prone to closure in windy conditions, the lower sectors around Montchavin, Les Cloches and Montalbert contain some delightful long runs down through the trees.

Experts will find two impressive black runs up at the Bellecot Glacier, while better intermediates should try the long and varied run from Roche de Mio to Les Bauches with its mixture of on and off piste surfaces. The less adventurous will find joy in the wide open cruising grounds between L’Arpette and Monchavin. If you need a break, there is a simply vast choice of very good restaurants everywhere on the mountain.

Apres Ski

This can be a surprisingly quiet resort. It really depends on which village you stay in. Plagne Centre tends to be the liveliest, with King Café providing the focus of live music for the younger set. Plagne Soleil is also a fun place with the Lincoln Pub being highly recommended for a good night out. In Belle Plagne, the Maitre Kanter, Mats Pub and the Cheyenne are also favourites. Plagne 1800 is generally the quietest of the villages, although the Mine has a great atmosphere and Loup Garrou also does a brisk evening trade.

Resort Information • La Plagne

Resort Height Resort Height 2000m
Top Station Top Station 3250m
Bottom Station Bottom Station 1250m
Vertical Descent Vertical Descent 2000m
Drag Lifts Drag Lifts 61
Chair Lifts Chair Lifts 24
High Capacity High Capacity 7
Opening Dates Opening Dates Dec-April
Rating Expert Rating Expert 7
Rating Intermediate Rating Intermediate 9
Rating Beginner Rating Beginner 8
Apres Ski Rating Apres Ski Rating 8
Snow Reliability Snow Reliability 8